The repeated ongoing arrests of Tamilnadu fishermen by the SriLankan Navy, must be discussed on priority basis during SriLankan President Mr. Ranil Wickramsinghe's visit to India.
The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 15 Rameswaram fishermen who were fishing near Neduntivu. Added to that, two of their barges have also been confiscated.
Though the fishermen were fishing in the deep sea after obtaining the appropriate permit, the Srilankan Navy has claimed that they had crossed the stipulated border. The arrested fishermen have been taken to the Kangesanturai Naval Camp.
The Sri Lankan Navy's incessant violations such as the repeated arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen who traditionally fish in the Indian Ocean near Kachchathivu, and the confiscation of their boats are highly condemnable.
These fishermen have just finished their phase of fishing morotorium , because of which they have already lost income.
Even after their release, they don't get back their boats, which puts them back on square one.
Arresting those who go to fishing areas from time to time is a deliberate attack on the fishermen of Tamil Nadu. Makkal Needhi Maiam has been repeatedly urging the central government to find a permanent viable solution to this problem.
The Centre should atleast issue a stern warning and take necessary steps to end the misery of our fishermen.
We also urge the TN government to facilitate the release of our fishermen and their barges.
The Sri Lankan President and his delegation of ministers have scheduled a visit to India for the end of the current month. With the gravity of the situation in mind, the Centre should lay this discussion on the table during our Prime Minister's meeting with the SriLankan President.
- Mr. R. Pradeep Kumar,
State Secretary - fisherman welfare wing,
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